Annual Raise Awards Recognizes Innovation in Nonprofit Fundraising

September 18, 2019 — INDIANAPOLISOneCause, a leader in mobile fundraising, recognized leaders in fundraising excellence yesterday during its annual Raise Awards ceremony at Raise 2019: The Event Fundraising Conference. Hundreds of nonprofits from 38 states gathered in Chicago this week to collaborate, share insights, and celebrate nonprofit trailblazing.

“The Raise Awards celebrate fearless fundraisers who are driving innovation and shaping the future of fundraising,” said Steve Johns, chief executive officer for OneCause. “Each of these fundraisers embody excellence in philanthropy – pioneering new approaches, expanding their missions, and delivering impact. Their commitment and vision are building a better tomorrow.”

Winners were selected by a committee of fundraising professionals and received a cash donation on behalf of OneCause. The 2019 winners include:

Innovative Nonprofit of the Year: Children’s Cancer Research Fund
Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF) reinvented their traditional gala to attract the next era of supporters. For its 38th year, CCRF created a dynamic two-part event for a multi-generational audience with a VIP dinner and auction followed by a private concert that attracted an additional 2,000 supporters. The reimagined Dream Gala raised $1.3 million, a 36 percent revenue increase.

Storyteller of the Year: Morning Light
Morning Light’s storytelling campaign built a deep connection with supporters, spotlighting the stories of terminally ill residents. These were featured in a portrait series in the Indianapolis Star and in a multi-channel fundraising strategy. The campaign doubled online and walk-in donations while increasing major gifts by 69 percent.

Fundraisers of the Year

  • Alma Seda, Executive Director for March of Dimes Puerto Rico: After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Alma rallied the community to provide diapers, formula, water, home healthcare visits, and raising more than $500,000 for mothers and babies in Puerto Rico.
  • Andy Stein, Founder of the Orphaned Starfish Foundation: Over the past 18 years, Andy has led fundraising to provide technology education and job training for orphans and victims of abuse worldwide. Under his leadership they’ve grown to serve more than 14,000 children with 62 technology centers in 27 countries.
  • Gwen Mysiak, Executive Director of P.U.N.T. Foundation: Gwen is passionate about creating opportunities where donors connect directly with their pediatric cancer mission. This year she architected an unforgettable moment with a child survivor leading an entire gala room in a fundraising dance challenge.

The third annual Raise Awards will be presented at Raise 2020 in Washington, D.C. on September 14-15. Applications will open Spring 2020.